Pacific University Dance presents Spring Dance Works IX this Thursday through Saturday (Apr. 26-28)

Nikita Santino (Mark Fukui)

Spring Dance Works IX ends the week-long celebration of National Dance Week with three spectacular evenings of dance

Read more about the upcoming concert in the Pacific magazine Editor's Blog.

Pacific University Dance presents Spring Dance Works IX at 7:30 p.m. each evening beginning Thursday, Apr. 26 and continuing through Saturday, Apr. 28 in the Tom Miles Theatre (2115 Pacific Ave.).

The concert is filled with a mix of works from classical to contemporary, performed by Pacific’s very own university dance company, Pacific Dance Ensemble (PDE).

The program includes a special performance by Portland Dance Collaboration (PDC), a collection of professional dancers who collaborate from choreography to scheduling in one company; guest choreographers James Healey and Cait Powers; new works from senior student choreographers Lindsey Olin, Nikita Santino and Shauna Tilp; faculty member Mary Hunt; and artistic director and associate professor Jennifer L. Camp.

General admission is $7 and can be purchased in advance by calling (503) 352-2918.

Senior citizens age 65 and greater as well as Pacific students, faculty and staff are admitted for $5.

Healey, Pacific’s resident choreographer this spring, is a founding member of Shen Wei Dance Arts in New York, where he danced for the last 10 years before recently relocating to Oregon. 

Healey's experimental work, Sway, set on 18 PDE members, was partially developed through structured improvisations with the company along with blending set movement phrases. 

Healey explained, “There was an effort to draw emotional tension or interpretation and use that energy for the overall development of the movement," adding that his focus was to explore the “negative space” and its result of the “energetic relationships.”

Powers, dancer and choreographer from Portland Dance Collaboration, set a poetic contemporary ballet, Shadow Cast, on three senior company members of PDE, Kathleen Brown, Kaitlyn Heater and Tilp.

"The student choreographers reveal truths and tell stories through some pretty creative works," Camp said. "Tilp’s piece, in·qui·e·tude, expresses the feeling of unsettled restlessness and anxiety in making difficult choices. Santino, in her fourth year creating narrative dances, explores the fun of story-telling around a campfire in her newest work, Campfire Scene. Olin will surprise us all with her latest solo, Otherwise."

Hunt showcases her modern jazz roots with her work set on five PDE members through an excerpt from the score of Pina.

Camp will present four works on the program: Luminance, set to music by Zoe Keating; Random Moments in a Day of Traveling and excerpts from Ties Within, both works set to music by Rachel’s; and a classical work, Waltz # 1, set to the music by  composer Richard Strauss. Her style is theatrically lyrical and expressive, often including an element of surprise.

Camp established Pacific Dance Ensemble in 2004, one year after arriving at Pacific University. The company has grown into 21 dancers, who come from diverse dance backgrounds.  
“The diverse training creates a balance within the group and aids in the company’s ability to dance classical works, contemporary, musical theatre and African dance, and many others styles," she said.

The students are required to take daily technique in addition to their daily rehearsal and academic schedule.  Camp presented the company in numerous Portland performances since 2008, most recently in Call in June 2011 and the Fertile Ground Festival/Groovin Green House in January 2012.

The Department of Theatre and Dance will offer a dance major starting this fall in addition to the already established dance minor.

The new major will be a wonderful addition, Camp said. “Students are able to attend professional dance performances by local, national and international companies, as well as get exposure and experience from arts in the area, while completing degree in dance at Pacific."

For more information, email

Posted by Joe Lang ( on Apr 23, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Edited by Jenni Luckett ( on Apr 27, 2012 at 8:16 AM

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